The letter is to Peter De Blanc whom Joplin hoped to marry. When she left San Francisco in May 1965, burned out from her hard drug filled life singing in small venues, she also left De Blanc, temporarily she thought. She returned home to Port Arthur, Texas, stopped singing, stopped taking drugs, enrolled in college and envisioned a domestic future for herself with De Blanc. He, in the meantime, moved back home to New York City and moved on. The letter’s text and envelope indicate De Blanc was in the hospital. About a year after she wrote our letter, Joplin moved to San Francisco to resume her singing career. She joined Big Brother and the Holding Company, her biggest hits quickly followed. Both she and the blues band soared to fame. She stayed with Big Brother for about a year, joined two other bands in quick succession, attained legendary rock n’ roll stardom and just as quickly died. In October 1970, Joplin fatally overdosed on heroin. Her letter’s first words suggest Joplin has not heard from De Blanc in a while. “I sure would like to hear how you’re doing. I’ll hope for a letter today....” She continues with little to say and decides to draw pictures. “There’s nothing new. I already told you about my new shoes & my new hairdo; they’re the most exciting things that have happened to me. Phoo!I don’t know what to talk about….maybe I’ll draw you a picture. This is a picture of two men sitting in front of me….” She sketches two men sitting across from each other at a table with perhaps a pile of books in front of one. Perhaps she was in the college library.
On the back of this first page she draws two more sketches explaining each. “This is a picture of a fat man standing in front of me.” For the second sketch in the lower right she writes, “This is a picture of a girl who looks something like me (she has a fat face)….” The following page begins, “Fascinating letter, right?” She draws two more sketches with explanations. “This is a picture of a girl w/ long hair that reminds me of Pam. She’s very thin & thinks she’s cute….” Below the description and sketch of the long haired girl, Joplin draws a self portrait. “This is a picture of me…(I’m much more beautiful than this, drawing pictures in the Union [possibly the student union of the college where she was enrolled]. This is absurd.” On the back of page two in the upper left corner she draws a rectangle. “This is a picture of a piece of paper on which I have written all of the things I have to say.” She continues below the empty rectangle. “Been reading about the French revolution. And Napoleon. Wow, I really liked Napoleon – I kept wanting him to win….” She expresses her feelings towards De Blanc. “…I’m thinking about you, I love you, haven’t fallen for anyone else…I really miss you. God, when are we ever going to be able to be together?...I’m so used to sleeping by myself…What are your specific plans? Do you have any? Or does it depend on what happens after you leave the hospital – I mean whether you have a job or not….” Joplin addressed her letter to De Blanc at Beth Israel Hospital where he was a patient. She explains that she would need to apply to school depending on where he gets a job. “Guess I’ll eat something & go to class. ‘Bye, I love you, get well & DO what the DOCTOR SAYS!. When you get out of the hospital do go back for your outpatient treatment….” She asks about a psychiatrist he had mentioned. “Was that figurative….” She signs, “Janis,” adds a postscript in which she again expresses her love. She and De Blanc did not resume their relationship. Condition: The letter is in fine condition throughout with the expected tears to the spiral notebook holes caused by pulling the pages out of the notebook.